Ode to a Pot Roast

Ode to a Pot Roast

If ever there was a form of food
So humble in its name
It’d have to be this hunk of meat
A winter insurance claim.

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To hear it mentioned as for sup
Elicits moans and sighs
To see it brought upon a plate
Will bring on widened eyes.

Choosing a pan is half the task
As it must sit just so
With herbs and veg embracing it
Afloat in rich Bordeaux.

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The time it roasts, the temperature
These things must serve it well
And yet this dish forgives mistakes
Content till the dinner bell.

Aromas floating in the wind
Send out come hither scents
Warmth and love and plentitude
It’s these it represents.

We taste this beef extraordinaire
With garlic cloves and shallots
Carrots, peas and taters too
It’s heaven on our palettes.

Some say the post roast has no class
Its nature bourgeoisie
But ask the greatest chefs today
Most all would disagree.

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Oh how I love a pot roast so
It fills my heart with joy
Nothing louder shouts, “It’s Fall!”
It is the Real McCoy.

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Ode to A Vegetarian

I love my vegetarian
She’s bright and camp and brave
But I am always asking her
Why won’t you eat my pot roast?

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October Gotta Have a Gott winner

In January, Rob and I announced that his sketches will be available toward the end of the year in the form of a 2015 calendar! And our readers would get to be the judges and voters for which doodles they’d like to see selected for each month. We’ll reveal the winners one by one, and come November, If you’ve Gotta have a GOTT, you can place your order. Jump on over to see the cartoon winner for October!

Don’t forget to check out what we’re cookin’ in the Scullery and what we all talked about down in the pub. Plus, you can see more of Robin Gott‘s humor–all from the only pen carved from a human funny bone.

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110 thoughts on “Ode to a Pot Roast

  1. Wow, Shelley, your cleverly constructed ode brings back memories! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve had pot roast. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve had it since I was a kid. And your “Ode to a Vegetarian” made me chuckle, because I know my mom could sympathize with you! I decided just after Thanksgiving of 2002 that I was going to become a vegetarian. My mom was heartbroken that I wouldn’t eat the turkey she’d prepared for our Christmas dinner. Nor the ham she made for New Year’s Day. So please don’t take it personally if your beloved vegetarian won’t eat your pot roast. Perhaps you could make some Tofurkey for her for this Thanksgiving? 😉

    • You know you bring up a really good point, Miranda. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a faux pot roast, although I’m sure there must be recipes out there somewhere, right? One giant portobello mushroom?
      And I’m thinking I’ll have to post the Tofurkey this year. Poor kid isn’t being given enough time to come home and reject my three day’s worth of cooking face to face. 🙄

      • There are so many meat substitutes out there now, I’m sure you could make a faux pot roast just fine. 😉 (And by “you,” I mean you specifically. Not me. I tried to make a vegan turkey dish one year, and let me tell you, I didn’t win any carnivores over to my side with it. I didn’t even want to eat it.) And that’s a shame she won’t be able to come home for Thanksgiving! I know she’ll miss all the tasty side dishes you prepare, but she’ll miss being with her mom even more.

        • Oh, Miranda, what a giggle (sorry) about the fraudulent fowl! I would have eaten it. I think if somebody goes through the effort of cooking a meal, I will choke it down no matter how dubious. You’re feeding a friendship, right?
          And I’m desperately trying to think of what to put into a care package that can equate to a Turkey Day meal and gathering. It’s hard to put a day long hug into a box. *sigh*

        • Sounds like it will pair well with the sodium dosed gravy my mother makes each year. I’m fairly certain she tosses in a 5 lb salt lick at the end as “seasoning.”
          God, I hope she’s not reading this.

  2. Hilarious Mrs P! Who doesn’t love an ode to food? its about time this humble dish was given a bit of poetry sparkle arkle. The sketches of the top chefs and the Swedish Chef cracked me up. 😁

    • I’ve never been to one, although I’m pretty sure we have one in our town. I’ll have to take your word it’s worthy, and maybe give it a try? Although I’d miss out on the all day smells that tease and torture me from the kitchen crock pot.

  3. Excellent job Shelly. I think your Ode is every bit as delicious as the meal itself. As it is as heart warming as the roast is stomach warming. It makes my Ode to the Hush puppy pale by comparison The drawing of Gordon Ramsey is spot on as well. I gonna’ have to try that some day. Another bright Saturday night.

    • You wrote an Ode to the Hush Puppy? Alrighty, Benson, I’ve got to see this.
      And yes, I love the G.R. caricature. That whole group is snort-worthy.
      I’m thinking pot roast for breakfast might be order. Kinda hankerin’ it all over again. 😛

      • Rarely do I have a “traditional” breakfast. I like leftovers. Pot roast, meat loaf, pizza, doesn’t matter. Half the time it’s cold. As for the “Ode” I wrote that in response to something Kerby posted. I think you can find it on bistro. Actually I think the noble hush puppy is worthy of praise. It definitely deserves better than my”Ode”.

        • I think if you throw an egg on top of anything you can call it breakfast, right? It all works for my stomach too, Benson.
          And I’ll see if I can hunt down your piece of prose. I’ve sadly had too many hush puppies that ended up being a choking hazard. Just because one’s address is south of the Mason Dixon line does not make one a worthy hush puppy hash slinger. Me included. o_O

          • Understood. Location and food taste do not go hand and hand. Around the mid west we have California Blend. That is a frozen vegetable option consisting of Broccoli, cauliflower and carrot. No one in Cali has ever heard of it. I dare say no one west of The Big Muddy has ever heard of it. It is a rather boring medley, by the way.

  4. The combination of your funny ode and the fantastic sketches by the other half were just perfect Shelley. My only problem is I just don’t understand what a pot roast is.The equivalent of our roast beef? It doesn’t sound like it. Maybe a braised beef joint? Not sure. Done in a pan on top of the stove it sounds like a stew.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • A massive chunk of CHUCK, David. Or brisket, or round can work too. This is the cut of meat we use, and yes, pretty much the same thing as your braised beef. Typically not on the stove, more commonly done in the oven at low temp for a good few hours. Slow and steady–or better yet in a crock pot on the counter. Here’s a link – if for nothing else, just to see the pretty pictures. http://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-cuts-of-beef-for-pot-roast-meat-basics-211326
      I’m glad you liked the daffy poem and Rob’s artistry this week. Maybe Tariq does something similar down at your local?
      And warm Welsh bear hugs to you too! xxx

  5. Delightful Shelley! I think this must be the equivalent of our casseroles and the French ‘pot au feu’, all of them delicious flavours of autumn to look forward to – thank heaven Mr H is our cook, my version of pot roast is like boiled army boot 😦 Have a scrumptious Sunday 🙂 PS That sketch of Nigella and Gordon and the other one (?) is classic!

    • Ms. Jane,

      You crack me up… “boiled army boot.” Your comment reminded me of how my father would discribe his mother’s end result of sauteed liver; shoe leather. He literally told me when I was a child that his work boots were made by his Mom, uggh.

      Are you of French descent? Pot au Feu… the one meal that honors the tables of the rich and poor alike.

      Best regards,

      Stoshu 🙂

      • Hi Stoshu, I wish I were joking about the boot thing but sadly cooking is not my forte! My grandmother used to serve us liver and onions when we went to visit – indescribably disgusting , bless her ! No, I’m not French myself but live here in South Western France on a hillside surrounded by vineyards! (Not very nice to give myself a plug on Shelley’s blog but my own blog is about life here and life in general in photographs if you care to visit!)

        • Yes please Ms. Jane,

          I would love to visit your site and I know that Shelley is ALWAYS promoting others and their creative writings. If I missed it, please, forward your blog address, I’d be quite interested, thank you.

          You live in France, I miss it there. Some day I hope to return. Regardless of your origin, it is a blessing to have a connection to one of many of Shelley’s readers willing to correspond with me. Networking is a wonderment of life. It helps me remember that life is more than just my small yet beautiful community. I miss traveling. Ah, the trains… I digress.

          Much respect Ms. Jane, off to churn the goose roast on the fire.

          Stoshu 🙂

    • Thank you, Jane! I love imagining you bending over a boiling army boot. But I’d bet your photos would make it drool-worthy regardless. Probably not much of a challenge for you. 😛
      And the pot roast is similar to pot au feu except the pot roast dish has an exceptionally rich gravy rather than the broth like soup of the fine French version. Both fabulous dishes, and how lucky you’ve got yourself a head chef.
      So glad you got a giggle out of the toons today. Cheers!

  6. Wonderful poem and great cartoons Shelley, but i have never sampled pot roast so am at a loss as to this wondrous recipe. I shall have to look it up on the net and give it a try! :-))

    • Ah yes, the vegetarians! I was discussing that with Miranda Stone up above, and have found that for years it’s been one of the most difficult things to do–to put myself in my daughter’s shoes and understand that this type of food does not work for her. I’m always searching for a substitute protein. I was thinking a massive Portobello mushroom might stand in for the beef. It does have that steaky kind of flavor.
      Glad you like the sketches this week, Annabelle – and yep, from the sounds of it, the celebrity one is making a big splash. Way to go, Rob!

  7. We lady vegetarians like our hunks of meat in gorgeous manly form 🙂 Though I have happy memories of my mom’s pot roast. I get the same satisfaction these days from roasting potatoes, onions and carrots in foil with a sauce of tamari, OJ and garlic. In fact you just gave me an idea for tonight’s dinner!

  8. Shelley,

    Wonderfully delicious writing yet again! With the sun rising just above the calm bay this morning I see the shore line brick fire place still smoldering from last night’s burn. Hence, your poem gives me energy to make my own pot roast and I’ll have to start fast to have it ready for kick off today.

    Think I’ll roast/braise my goose breast over the apple wood fire I have burning and mix in some morel mushrooms, ramps, fiddlehead ferns and a smoked apple cider Demi redux with root veggies. It works wonderfully in my cast iron pot I hang off to the side of the fire. The cooking experience is nearly just as scrumptious as the meal time itself. That, and I can cast a line into the bay while cooking to see if I can hook onto some Trout. Oh, thank you for the inspiration for a Sunday morning Shelley! I’ll make sure to save you a plate.

    Much love,

    Stoshu 😉

    • Okay, so here’s the dilemma you may be able to weigh in on, buddy. What would you use to create a real “beefy” flavor without the beef if you were cooking for vegetarians?
      And where are you getting ramps and fiddleheads from at this time of year?
      I want a pint of that smoked apple cider demi glace. Make me a batch and I’ll do your laundry for a week.
      ❤ ❤

      • Shelley,

        If you need the wondrous beefy flavor for those non-carnivorous consumers, I’d suggest a simple roasting of root vegetables… potatoes, garlic, mir poix, parsnips, shallots. Roast what you can over a fire of smoldering fire ash, what ever flavor of wood you like. I suggest alder or oak, let it smoke and roast for as slow and long as you can. Then, pure everything to make a sauce of it and then use it to braise your entree.

        Think, animals forage from nature. Add roasting, smoke and slow cooking and hence you can come near to the flavor of beef or that of as possible, minus the meat. Don’t forget adding beans for the protein, right.

        Per the ramps, fiddlehead ferns and morels… I foraged enough this past spring to dry and store for winter’s consumption, that, and along with the bountiful harvest of tomatoes for sauce, apples, beans, plums, peaches and others I canned for the winter. Now, it’s just a matter of harvesting a deer or two.

        Please, keep writing as your words keep me filled with joy.

        Much love,


  9. I am all about any meal that “…forgives mistakes” and is “content till the dinner bell” around here! I love how you embraced the steadiest of autumn/winter staples and made all your readers hungry. Also found it quite well done that you included vegetarians in such a meat-ful piece and even brought in expert comments from the master himself – Swedish Chef! You are lots of fun!

    • Oh, me too, Torrie! I need a wide margin of error for my cooking adventures, as I usually get started with one pot, which soon becomes four or five, and then get absorbed in writing and think, Just this one sentence. And ‘Just this one sentence’ later, three things are scorched and one needs to be buried at the bottom of the garbage pail. Ah well, a writer’s life, right? 😛

  10. Rob’s sketch of the celebrity chefs (with their captions) made me spew water all over my screen. 🙂 Nicely done both of you! (And thanks Shelley for a nice quick and lite read on a day I’m desperately trying to get caught up on blog reading from my self-imposed WP hiatus this past week!)

  11. Ooh, this makes me want pot roast (like basically everyone else commenting here). My dad also introduced me to boeuf bourguignon (while struggling to pronounce it as a non-French-speaker)–that might be even better.

    • Oh, yeah, that dish is a mammoth winner in my eyes–and funny enough, my dad is the maker of that dish in my family as well.
      As far as the pronunciation goes, I’ll only attempt it with my mouth full of it. That way everyone can blame my garbled attempt as a result of my bad manners. 😛

  12. Very funny! I used to hate pot roast – my mother spiced the dish only with Lipton Onion soup mix and ketchup and generally bought the cheapest most grizzled piece of meat she could find!

  13. These are definitely the most humorous, delightful verses, anyone can write about pot roast!
    After tummy aching laughs, thanks to you, i am craving pot roast now 😛

    • That’s some pretty generous praise for a slab of chuck steak, but I will thank you regardless. My writer friends who are truly gifted in poetry have been reeling with physical discomfort having read those same verses. But they promise not to hold it against me.
      Hope you get your craving seen to! Cheers

  14. Stunning post dear Shelley.. Truly ready-witted… Intelligent and fun at the same time.

    I love when you say that post roast might be considered not classy and mainly related to the bourgeoisie
    But then you mention that you asked ask the greatest chefs and most all of them disagreed.


    By the way the first chef on the left is Gordon Ramsay right?… He is an ace ⭐

    Thank you very much for the smiles you gave me!.

    All the best to you and I hope you have a great week ahead, Aquileana 😛

    • You’re way too gracious with your compliment, Aquileana–and this little bit of whimsy was purely meant as sappy sport. My talents with the poetic form have reached the upper limits of my ability – somewhere akin to that of a ten year old. But thank you nonetheless!
      And yes, Gordon Silvertongued Ramsay, indeed. He is pretty spectacular, but more so if you watch him with the volume on mute.
      I wish you a week of happy writing and reading too!

  15. Hi Shelley, now I am yearning for a pot roast…there’s something about those winter comfort foods! Love that Swedish Chef. It would be interesting to see what he served with his pot roast…overall I prefer mine without the singing vegetables. 🙂

    • I’m going to take a wild guess and say he’d serve it with a hefty side of akvavit–and has been having hearty swigs of it the entire time he’s been cooking, which would explain why no one can understand a damn word he says.
      I suppose we’d need to get Rob’s official opinion though, as that’s where he currently resides.

  16. I love everything about this! Rob’s Top Chefs cartoons are great, and the Swedish Chef and…all of them 🙂

    Pot roasts are very popular in this house, so it’s great to see them being given such a spotlight and appreciated with such humour. And keeping the rhyming going – I think I would have given up long before that out of sheer exhaustion. 🙂

  17. Ha, I finally made it to the end of the comments – they are a post in themselves! Most excellent and enjoyable rhyming there, I smiled and giggled and enjoyed the sketches too. You are a talented pair! I’m in, I’ll follow along even though I’m leaving roasted meat season and entering days of salads and white wine 🙂

    • What a pleasure to see your words here, Pauline, although it’s your painting that lays me flat to the floor. Such a deft and remarkable hand you have!
      I assure you, the pot roast post was an anomaly. And even though I’m all for roasting big hunks of meat, I’m still tossing big salads and washing them down with all the paler shades of wine. Delicious food is delicious food, right?
      Cheers! (and happy spring)

    • Gravy is my downfall, Susan. Both in skill and pants size. Since my mom is the gravy maker, I have told her she may never die. If I learned how to make a good one, I’d likely be a building with feet. Chances are I’d be making gravy to go with every meal. Gravy on your salad, anyone? 😛

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